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FDR in Galveston (1937)

KPRC-TV

Sound | 1937

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  •  President Franklin D. Roosevelt disembarks from the yacht Potomac 
  •  The President poses with Texas Governor James Allred (middle) and then Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson (right) 
  •  Aboard a train, FDR chats with Galveston Mayor Adrian Levy 
  •  The President’s son, Elliott, stands at the far end of the group 
  •  The party pulls up in Kopperl Park 
  •  Mayor Levy gifts the President a fishing pole in honor of his visit. The mayor also gave FDR with a painting of Galveston oleanders 
  •  FDR addresses the crowd 
  •  The President compliments the Seawall Boulevard and Galveston’s beaches 
 
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May 11, 1937 -- After an 11-day fishing cruise in the Gulf of Mexico, President Franklin D. Roosevelt docks in Galveston for a brief presidential visit. Texas Governor James Allred, then Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson, and Galveston Mayor Adrian Levy led a large reception committee to properly welcome the president to the Oleander City. It was Galveston’s first presidential visit since 1891. This unedited news footage from Houston’s KPRC-TV captures the FDR’s arrival in Galveston and his remarks to the assembled crowd. The President disembarked from the 165-foot yacht Potomac at 9:10 a.m.. On the dock, he was greeted by Allred, Johnson, Levy, and the President’s son, Elliott Roosevelt. Following an automobile tour of the city, FDR boarded a special train bound for Washington, DC, departing at 10 a.m. Accompanied by his son, the President made three more stops in Texas that day. Upon his arrival in Houston at 11:30 a.m., FDR made a 10-minute appearance on the train platform alongside Governor Allred, Reconstruction Finance Corporation Chairman Jesse H. Jones, Houston Mayor Richard H. Fonville, and Harris County Judge Roy Hofheinz. Next, the presidential party journeyed to College Station, where FDR reviewed five regiments of cadets at Texas A&M College (now Texas A&M University). The President then ventured to Fort Worth, spending the night at the Benbrook home of his son, Elliott. FDR arrived back in Washington, DC, on May 14.